Strand of Oaks embodies brutally honest rock ‘n’ roll
The band is slated to play April 22 at Rose Music Hall.
If you hear loud rock ‘n’ roll with a chill vibe emanating from Rose Music Hall on April 22, don’t be afraid to stop in and enjoy Strand of Oaks.
“When I’m on tour and a gas station worker is like ‘Oh, you guys are a band?’ I’m like, ‘Yeah; Neil Young and Pink Floyd lumped together as one,’” Strand of Oaks singer Timothy Showalter says.
From Goshen, Indiana, Showalter describes Strand of Oaks’ rise to prominence as “not one of those giant height bubbles that bursts into flames, where everyone sees them for a moment and then they dissipate into the sky, but a slow burning lighthouse that guides people in, and hopefully they get there safely and enjoy where they’re at.”
Before forming Strand of Oaks, Showalter was part of a band called The Birthday Boys. However, when Showalter and his then-girlfriend, a sister of a fellow band member, ended their relationship, the band ended as well.
He then started creating his own sound.
Strand of Oaks formed in 2003, but Showalter says, “I didn’t really know what I was doing until like a year ago, so the band may be around 11 or 12 (years old) but it could also be 1-year-old. I’m still trying to figure that out.”
Since the first time he was on stage, Showalter says that he has improved, learning that the people you’re performing with is one of the most important factors for success.
“The first time I performed on stage was in my church’s nativity play,” Showalter says. “I was 3 years old, and I threw my cane at Mary. Since then, I’ve gotten much better, you could say. As far as bands go, finding the right people that you’re comfortable on stage with is everything, because it makes it that much easier to perform.”
At the concert, the band will perform songs from its most recent album, “HEAL,” released last year, as well as songs from its previous albums.
“I think my favorite music I’ve written is on my new record, and I kind of just love them all,” Showalter says. “‘JM’ is super special, though, because it’s the first song I wrote on my new record, and the rest of the songs are kind of just based around it.”
“HEAL” is an unflinchingly honest and bold step to achieving catharsis and an album that mirrors Showalter’s own life.
“My inspiration for my songs is pretty much my life verbatim,” Showalter says. “I don’t really use any flowery language or anything. If I say something, it’s probably because it happened.”
Showalter embraces his past not only through his music, but through his tattoo, which reads “Strength.”
“I got that tattoo just because I wanted to remind myself all the time that I wanted to protect myself,” Showalter says. “I used to cut myself when I got drunk, and it was kind of like a security method. I don’t want to screw up a nice tattoo. It’s really big, so it’s not subtle, and it's a constant reminder. You can take it really seriously and get something important or just do something that looks cool.”
Even though Showalter’s life is consumed by touring and writing music, one of Showalter’s hobbies includes collecting vinyl records. Oh, and he enjoys playing and talking with his cats. At the end of the day, though, Showalter always returns to his passion for music.
“I love the idea of having a goal after every goal, so if we play a show and sell out at a small venue I’m like I want to sell out at a bigger venue,” Showalter says. “Not because of money or ego but it just feels nice to have something else to look forward to and work toward. It’s always like I write a record and I just want to make another one. It makes a boring existence a little less boring.”